This is the second part of a series on running – in this post I’ll cover a little background on why I run.
I like to run and it’s one of my favorite fitness activities, and I hope that by giving you some of the reasons I like to run, that it might encourage you to make running a part of your plan for a healthy lifestyle. I want to share with you a few of the reasons why I started running for fitness as an adult, and why it’s one of the mainstays of my healthy lifestyle.
Running for weight loss
I started running in my 20s shortly after getting married, and becoming aware of my rapidly expanding waistline. I talked to a friend who was an avid runner and he gave some tips to get me started; almost 30 years later I still enjoy the calorie burn I get from running. Though there are many variables, you can roughly figure that you burn 100 calories per mile that you run. When you do that consistently (and don’t add to your diet to make up for the exercise you’re doing), tt add up and make a difference quickly.
Running for health
Running is a great overall exercise to promote cardiovascular health. It gives you an opportunity to exercise your heart, lungs, legs and even stimulates blood flow to the brain. As highlighted in a Time Magazine article from a few years ago, runners tend to live longer and healthier lives. Running is one important part of my plan for my healthy lifestyle.
Running for stress relief
Everyone has to find the best time for them to exercise based on their life and preferences and personality. I don’t agree with the philosophy that says everyone should get out and hit the road and run first thing in the morning right after getting up. While exercise in the morning is not a bad thing – you need to find what works best for you. I personally prefer to run after work, when I can “run out” the stress and pressures of the day, and leave them on the running trail (though sometimes it’s nice to fit in a mid-day run on an especially nice day). I find it’s a great way to release stress and that I’m able to leave the “stuff of the day” out on the trail so that I can enjoy my evening.
Running for fun
We all run, at least at one point we all ran. When they think back, most people have pleasant childhood memories of sunny summer days, grassy fields or lawns, and the feeling of the grass beneath your feet as you run playing tag or just playing. Somewhere along the way that changes for many of us, and it takes something to remind us that running really can be fun – not just a chore to get in shape or stay healthy. Whether running with friends enjoying some friendly competition in a race, or just being able to spend some personal time breathing fresh air – running can even be a great get-way in the middle of a busy day that just might give you what you need to make it through the rest of the day.
In the next few posts we’ll look at how running can benefit you (not just losing weight), some suggestions on how to approach running (so that you won’t give up), and some tips and tricks to get the most out of it (and not sabotage your results).
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